EPMU delegates in the metals and manufacturing sector met on 23 June and resolved to recommend that union members reject the employers' offer and call mass membership meetings around the country in the first week of July.
The move comes after employers sought a two year - rather than one year - deal for the Metals 2010, with no relief for workers who will miss out on specific public holidays for Anzac Day and Waitangi Day for a second year in a row, and offered a 2.75% wage rise for 2010 and a 3% rise for 2011.
"With uncertainty over the cost of living in 2011 after the government's GST hike kicks in, the union is seeking a one year deal, a wage increase of 3.5% across the board, and two extra days off in 2011 to compensate for the loss of two public holidays," says EPMU assistant national secretary Bill Newson.
"Employers also got a tax cut handout from the government in this year's Budget so they can afford to pass on some of that to employees," he says.
"The employers should understand that workers need a decent wage increase and that only they can offer our members the two days they would otherwise lose for Anzac Day and Waitangi for a second year," says union delegate Joe Perez. "So far the employers' offer gives us no reason to give up on a one-year deal," he says.
Mass member meetings will now be held on:
Monday 5 July, 10am, Te Rapa Racecourse, Hamilton, and 10am, Petone Workingmen's Club, Wellington
Tuesday 6 July, 10am, Club Lounge, East Stand, Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland
Wednesday 7 July, 10.30am, Christian Cullen Room, Stewards Stand, Addington Racecourse, Christchurch
The Metals MECA (multi-employer collective agreement) is the EPMU's flagship industry agreement that covers 2000 employees in more than 100 manufacturing enterprises.